Sexual Health Awareness and Social Responsibility
Sexual permissiveness is perhaps one of the most evident marks of post-modern society. We see it everyday. Just consider the music videos of popular artists with provocative suggestions of sex, as well as films touted to be artistically produced and directed. Even advertising makes use of subliminal messages of seduction to promote their products. While there is really nothing wrong with sex, adults have to be sensitive and responsible in dealing with sexual health issues especially when the youth is concerned.
Boys and girls will normally get curious and interested about sex as they go through physical and emotional changes during puberty. And due to media and internet access, our youth are easily exposed to a lot of possibilities about sex. The risks of acquiring Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STD are high in this age group. It is the responsibility of the parents to strike a balance between teaching their teens about responsible sexual health while, at the same time, making them understand that the knowledge about safe sex does not give them a license to engage in sex with every willing party and at every available opportunity.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STD are diseases caused by viral or bacterial infections that can be transmitted through sexual contact. STD affects men and women of all ages and backgrounds who are sexually active or engage in unprotected sex. People who are aware of STD may experience social, emotional and psychological stress due to guilt or embarrassment. But there is more to STD than stress and shame. There are serious sexual health problems that may cause permanent damage such as infertility or even death, as in cases of AIDS, if not given proper attention. But the good news is, STD can be treated.
The spread of STD is due to the common thinking of people that sexual intercourse is a requirement to get the infection. STD, like herpes or genital warts, can be acquired through skin-to-skin contact with an infected area or sore. The myth that one cannot get infected through oral and anal sex is just a myth. Viruses or bacteria that cause STD can enter the body through tiny cuts or tears in the mouth and anus, as well as the genitals.
The fact that it is difficult to tell whether a person is infected or not makes STD spread easily. People who are infected may not even know that they have STD, thus, endangering their partners with the infection without even realizing it. Sometimes, STD takes a long time to display any kind of symptoms. The following are some of the most common STDs that affect sexually active individuals: chlamydia, gonorrhea, crabs or pubic lice, genital herpes, genital warts, and syphilis.
Just like with other medical conditions, preventing Sexually Transmitted Diseases is much easier than treating them. Abstinence from all types of sexual contact may be the only way to prevent STD. But people do not have to deprive themselves of sex as long as they remain faithful to their partners or at least, try using a condom to reduce the chances of getting STD. Other birth control methods may help prevent pregnancy but only latex condoms can lessen the risk of getting an STD.
People who are sexually active should consider getting regular gynecological or male genital examinations to give doctors not just the opportunity to check for STD while they are still in their earliest and most treatable stage, but also to teach people about STD and how to protect themselves.
People should always be honest to tell their doctors if they are thinking about having sex or if they have already started having sex. The more you hold back, the more chances you allow STD to develop and cause more serious damage.
There is a delicate harmony that balances guilt-free sexual health awareness, self-worth, and social responsibility. Parents need to be more willing to hold open discussions with their children. It is the duty of the parents to prepare their children in the matters of physical, emotional and social dimensions of sexual health and its consequences. STD is a serious sexual disease. It could happen to you.